Which US Trusted Traveler Program is Right for You?

May 15th, 2017 / blog / 0 comments

Have you been considering applying for a Trusted Traveler program but not sure which one is right for your type of travel, if any?  This helpful Homeland Security website summarizes and compares each of the programs for you.  Go to:  Trusted Traveler Programs

Awesome New Feature with Google Maps

March 15th, 2017 / blog / 0 comments

Google Maps just introduced their new Lists Feature that lets you save places you would like to visit on maps for easy reference.  This could be as simple as organizing all the sushi restaurants or wine bars you want to try in your hometown or restaurants to consider while traveling.  This blog explains how simple it is:  Creating Lists with Google Maps

Checking Through a US Airport Faster

February 15th, 2017 / blog / 0 comments

Would you like to minimize your time transitioning through or checking in at a US airport?  A privately operated service called Clear is being expanded to four more major airport hubs in the US – Atlanta, LaGuardia, JFK & LAX.  This will considerably boost its existing service in 17 airports.  As opposed to TSA Pre-Check which expedites the security screening process at many US airports, Clear expedites your identity verification process.  Simply bypass the line and go to a kiosk for fingerprint or eye scan recognition, then go to the front of the line for security screening (or TSA Pre-Check line if you also have that service or Global Entry).  Clear comes with a hefty price tag, $179 per year so it may not be for everyone.  Check it out at:  Clear.

How Are Economy Class Fares Changing?

January 15th, 2017 / blog / 0 comments

In order to obtain the lowest possible airfare, you will likely have to give up on more conveniences. Starting this year, United Airlines is introducing Basic Economy Class that will lack advance seat assignment, put you at the end of the line for boarding and have stricter carry-on bag limits. If your main concern is just getting to your destination, then this may be the fare for you.

Electronic Luggage Tracking is Coming!

December 15th, 2016 / blog / 0 comments

Ever experience losing a bag while on vacation or traveling for business?  Soon to arrive is One Bag Tag, a “permanent” luggage tag recognized at all airports that will replace airline issued paper tags.  Etched in the barcode will be global tracking to avoid lost bags, a weighing scale and traveler information matched to your bag.  Sign up for launch updates at:  One Bag Tag

Elevate Your Cruise Experience

December 1st, 2016 / blog / 0 comments

Do you enjoy cruising the oceans, rivers or intimate canal waterways? Get the most out of your cruise vacation by considering these three essential elements:
 

    1. cruise, river cruise, BudapestExtend your vacation by adding on a land journey before and/or after your cruise. You likely will travel a great distance to begin your cruise, so why not make the most out of your investment of time and money by seeing more of the destination where you begin or end your cruise? Several options can be considered from an escorted group tour, private chauffeur-driven tour, self-drive exploration or city stay.Many cruise lines offer an escorted group tour or city stay but there are also many other sources that may be more affordable and offer much more flexibility.
    2. Private, customized shore excursions can add a more enriching experience to your cruise and allow you to focus on what is more meaningful to you instead of having to settle for what is designed for a group.Shore excursions are an additional cost by most cruise lines and are typically rather expensive as this comprises a large part of their revenue. A completely private experience for you and your fellow travelers will be more expensive than a group excursion offered by the cruise line, of course, but offers total flexibility and an opportunity to immerse yourself more in the destination. In addition, there are several companies who specialize in providing shore excursions in various parts of the world and do so more affordably and in smaller groups than most cruise lines.
    3. cruise, River cruise, couple,Upgrade your cabin if your budget allows for this as this can greatly impact your enjoyment of the cruise. A better location on the ship to minimize noise and motion, a larger cabin, having a balcony versus a window, or selecting a concierge or club level with added amenities, or butler service are all upgrades that may be well worth the additional expense.

 
Not sure what cruise is right for you, and what enhancements are available? Gateway Destinations specializes in premium and luxury cruises for individuals, families and groups to all worldwide destinations. As a member of the Signature Travel Network, we offer very competitive pricing and amenities on many cruises. Have your own group of travelers? We can help choose the right ship and itinerary, take care of all the details and secure added benefits for your group.

Is Premium Economy Seating Worth the Extra Cost?

November 15th, 2016 / blog / 0 comments

Up until now, Premium Economy seating on US airlines (also known as Main Cabin Extra, Economy Plus, etc. depending on the airline) has offered very little more than a better location and sometimes extra legroom and has not even been available on international flights, but that is changing in 2017 with American Airlines. Their new 787-9 aircraft has a separate cabin for Premium Economy offering a 2-3-2 configuration with footrests, more legroom, free alcohol, better meals and noise-reducing headphones – very similar to what many international carriers have been offering for a while. They will begin this service with routes to Madrid and Sao Paolo but will be expanding it quickly. Delta Airlines is expected to follow suit. Pricing is not yet determined but is expected to be several hundred dollars more than Economy, and considerably less than Business Class.

Redefining Celebrations

November 1st, 2016 / blog / 0 comments

Celebration vacationDo you have a romantic celebration coming up such as a destination wedding, honeymoon, wedding anniversary, or perhaps have thought about renewing your wedding vows? There are so many details to consider when it comes to hosting a wedding. It is important that it reflects you and your partner as a couple and lets you share your love and happiness with your family and friends in a setting that reflects your values, style and budget. When it comes to celebrating your honeymoon, we understand that it’s all about you and your partner as individuals and as a couple, and enjoying a vacation that excites you and creates the unforgettable memories you seek. Celebrating your anniversary deserves an equally unforgettable experience. It should transport you away from it all, only to bring the two of you closer together. It should honor the amazing moments you have shared in the past years, while making new ones.

Celebration vacation, family vacationPerhaps you have an important life event such as a milestone birthday, graduation, retirement or even bachelor/bachelorette party you want to celebrate with friends or family? Travel is a delightful and fun way to mark special occasions in your life and we can help you determine just the right vacation to commemorate these milestone achievements.

Celebrating the reunion of friends or family members through travel creates memories that will last forever. It brings people, even generations, together and forges closer bonds.Whatever the special occasion, we can help you find the best hotels, resorts, cruises, and activities to suit your entire group. With our knowledge, expertise and connections, you can entrust the intricate planning to us.

Unlike a travel booking website, Gateway Destinations will take the time to get to know you, making sure your vacation is perfectly tailored to your needs. Leave the details to us and simply enjoy your celebratory journey.

Can Jet Lag be Minimized or Avoided?

October 15th, 2016 / blog / 0 comments

A few suggestions you may find helpful if you are traveling through multiple time zones include:

  • Drink lots of water and limit your food intake during flight
  • Get sun exposure when you land – in the morning if traveling west and in the morning if traveling east
  • Limit or avoid caffeine and alcohol during flight
  • If possible, adjust your bedtime gradually before departure by going to bed 1 or 2 hours later (if traveling west) or 1 to 2 hours earlier (if traveling each) each day for a week

5 Tips to Stress-Free Holiday Travel

October 1st, 2016 / blog / 0 comments

Looking to travel somewhere to spend the holidays? Make the most out of your vacation or family time by taking a few simple but important steps:

  1. European ChristmasPlan well in advance – this alone will help reduce stress. If flying, purchase tickets three to six months in advance to obtain optimal schedules and pricing. Take care to avoid high travel days whether flying or driving if at all possible (such as the Sunday after Thanksgiving). Hotel reservations should be made three or more months before travel as accommodations will be in high demand – some destinations should be even a year in advance. Make a checklist so you don’t overlook something as you get close to the busy holiday season.
  2. If flying for your holiday, save time and minimize frustration at airports by signing up for either TSA PreCheck (to expedite security screening for domestic travel) at www.tsa.gov or Global Entry (to expedite U.S. Customs and immigrations clearance for international travel) at www.cbp.gov/travel/trusted-traveler-programs/global-entry/how-apply.
  3. Allow extra time while traveling during the holidays – on the road if driving, at train stations or at airports. If mailing holiday gifts, get to the post office early in the season and avoid long waiting lines.
  4. Pack smart. Plan what you really need to take with you and try to minimize luggage as trains and planes will be full and more luggage will likely be lost during the high holiday travel season. Make sure your identification is on all luggage, use only TSA locks and include a copy of your itinerary in your suitcase. Save space by shipping holiday gifts – if you do take some with you, leave them unwrapped as TSA may need to inspect them. Pack a change of clothes and healthy snacks in your carry-on bag if flying in case there is a travel delay or your luggage doesn’t arrive when you do.
  5. Stay healthy! Avoid ruining your trip by getting sick, so take some preventative measures before you leave. Get plenty of sleep, stay hydrated, eat well and get enough fresh air and exercise. Also, carry some hand sanitizer with you.